Mokokchung, 21 August (MTNews): ATMA, Ongpangkong North Block, Mokokchung organized a training program in Settsu village on 21 August, 2023. A significant issue faced by economically disadvantaged segments of our society today revolves around ensuring year-round dietary diversity for families, particularly targeting women of reproductive age and children. The lack of a balanced diet and insufficient food is directly correlated with high rates of stunting, excessive weight, and mortality in children under five years old.
The training program, conducted by resource person Samuel Anar, ACTO (Agronomy) from KVK, Tuensang, focused on the theme, “Nutritional Gardens: A Sustainable Model for Food Security and Diversity.” The training highlighted the objectives, principles, and advantages of establishing nutritional gardens to enhance dietary diversity at the household level. Nutritional gardens serve the dual purpose of improving nutrition by providing a constant supply of fruits and vegetables rich in micronutrients while also contributing to family income and employment.
Anar elucidated the step-by-step process of starting a nutrition garden, encompassing aspects like site selection, recommended plot size (minimum 200 sq ft as per ICAR), access to reliable irrigation, and the creation of nutrient-rich manures through acquired knowledge. He also emphasized the differentiation between companion crops and various nutrient providers.
Furthermore, Anar emphasized the significance of different types of gardens such as home gardens, backyard gardens, or kitchen gardens. These types of gardens can serve as sources of daily fresh produce for households, ultimately lowering expenses and reducing dependence on the market for purchasing fruits and vegetables. Anar encouraged women farmers to form collectives like Self-Help Groups (SHGs) to collaborate effectively.
The primary objective of the training program was to raise awareness among women farmers regarding the crucial role nutritional gardens play in bolstering food security and diversifying diets to counter malnutrition. The program saw active participation from 15 female farmers, each of whom received high-value crop seeds, including Chinese cabbage, broccoli, knol khol, pole beans, and coriander.
Concurrently, a demonstration program titled “Demonstration on Vermicomposting” was also conducted. Led by Samuel Anar, ACTO (Agronomy) from KVK Tuensang, this session covered composting’s essentials, methodologies, and its relevance in organic farming. The vermicomposting process, involving the feeding and excretion cycles of vermi worms to produce nutrient-rich compost, was explained comprehensively.
Anar underscored the importance of selecting suitable sites and constructing effective vermicomposting setups. Through hands-on demonstrations using farm resources, the step-by-step process of heap method vermicomposting was illustrated, with farmer participation at each stage. The handling and harvesting of vermicompost, as well as the advantages of vermiwash for soil health and crop yield, were also elucidated.
A total of 10 female farmers engaged in the demonstration program and received vermi beds as inputs.